It seems as if there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done. Especially for the working mama’s out there. But with a little bit of planning, and perhaps even adding in some delegation, it is possible to stay on top of the most important things! Here are some helpful tips that every busy mom can use!
Master your calendar
By reviewing your calendar in advance and keeping track of every appointment, you are prepared in advance. I often suggest plotting out your calendar 6-8 weeks in advance. Right down everything!! From school events to business card exchanges and family outings, list it all.
Keep your calendar centrally located. For families with older children, online calendars can work well, but with young children in the house a visual daily reminder works best. They have access to it and can visualize things on a daily/weekly basis.
Plan and Prepare the Night Before
From packing lunches and school bags to having the clothes set out the night before. Anything that needs to be addressed before the start of school should be finished before going to bed. This simple strategy makes leaving the house in the morning a calmer experience for all!
Keep this in mind for yourself as well. Are all your things packed and prepped for the next day? Nothing like heading out the door without everything you need.
Have a place for everything, and everything in its place
This is definitely not a new concept, but there is value in respecting this simple step. Everything in your home should have its own “home”. By having a designated place for absolutely everything, there is no lost time “looking for something” and all the other members of the family can learn where everything lives and work with it as well. Not only will this help everyone in the house find things, but they can also be recruited in putting things away!
Meal planning is a necessity
Having nourishing quick meals to share with your family is very rewarding. Not only are time and money saved, but you’re investing in your family’s health. When “dinner time” is limited, you can gain so much by spending that time sharing about your day rather than struggling in the kitchen to make dinner.
A slow cooker is a busy woman’s best friend!
Streamline your errands
Designate just 1 specific day to run alllll your errands. Create a master list and break down your list into specific stores. Then, map it out. Think about everything from traffic conditions to keeping food cold when you map out the stores. Many people can get their errands done in a single “loop”.
Get the kids involved
Some people are really good at getting the kids involved, where as other moms feel “guilty”. I look at it as building everyday “life smarts” and responsibility. Unless you want to be packing lunches in college, this is a simple technique that teaches our young children the basics of life.
My favorite kid helping duties are sorting the laundry, matching socks, switching clothes from the washer to the dryer, emptying and loading the dishwasher, vacuuming, dusting, feeding the pets, changing their own bed linens, putting away clean clothes, picking up sticks in the yard, putting groceries away, helping each other with homework, putting stamps on mail, collecting trash to name a few… Of course these chores will vary based on age but even a 2 year old can learn to help mommy put their toys back! By kids investing in helping they are rewarded with more family time or game night!
Say No more often
I know. This one often gets groans from all the supermoms out there! But the fact is. No one will dislike you for saying no. It’s a guilt button I think we are all born with. So what I started doing was setting a limit to the amount of time I can give away, and stick to it. I too like to be involved in school and kids extracurricular activities as well as my own volunteer efforts, but we are often so consumed by “pleasing others” that we lose ourselves in the process.
This is a strategy I started for myself that has worked really well. It allows me to still be present for my family and my community without feeling resentful over losing too much of my limited personal time. I choose 3 school events to participate in every year and 1 in school party per child.
That is my commitment. Anything beyond that doesn’t support my personal goals and I will kindly decline. I often say “I am so grateful for the opportunity, but right now I have already committed to multiple “X” this year. Perhaps you could keep me in mind next year when my time might allow for this… Try it. I promise it doesn’t hurt, you’ll have more time and love to give back to those that mean the most.
Creating systems and expectations in your home can sometimes feel daunting, but just like teaching a new employee what their responsibilities are, by investing in your personal freedom